The primary work of the Boston Library Consortium (BLC) is done through its membership communities. These communities include representation from across the BLC member libraries and range from groups focused primarily on networking and sharing experiences with colleagues to those that are involved in a specific initiative or project.  There are currently three types of communities within the BLC:

  • Committees—two standing committees appointed by the BLC Board of Directors representing the Heads of Resource Sharing and Heads of Resource Management at each member library
  • Working Groups—focusing on emergent opportunities and collaborative initiatives, currently including Alma/Primo, Controlled Digital Lending, eBooks, and Sharing Expertise.
  • Communities of Interest—forums for collaboration and exchange around common areas of practice and current issues

The BLC Communities are typically assigned a Board Liaison to assist in advancing specific initiatives and projects.

Librarians and library staff at BLC member libraries interested in joining an existing community should contact the co-chairs listed on the individual community webpages.

Proposing a New Community

Librarians and library staff interested in creating a new community are encouraged to work with BLC staff to submit a proposal. Proposals should include: anticipated co-chairs, the purpose/charge, the relationship to other BLC communities and external groups, an exploration of need, a description of potential initiatives and projects, and a planned meeting schedule.

BLC Code of Conduct

The BLC is committed to providing welcoming, open, safe environments where members can work and learn together. Central to the work of the BLC is the opportunity for people with a variety of experiences and perspectives to come together as peers in comfort and safety. We expect participants in the BLC community to help create thoughtful and respectful environments where that interaction can take place.

The BLC will not tolerate harassment within our community. If you have concerns that you are being harassed or notice someone else who is being harassed, please contact a member of the BLC staff as soon as possible. If you or others are in imminent danger, please phone emergency services at 911.

Approved by the BLC Board of Directors, June 2019

Recommendations for Planning and Hosting BLC Meetings

The BLC is committed to equitable access and participation in its meetings and events. To maximize participation and across all 20 BLC member libraries in five states, we encourage conveners and co-chairs to:

  • Offer a mix of in-person and virtual meetings and events;
  • Provide a virtual option to participate remotely in all in-person meetings and events;
  • Consider recording meetings and events to benefit those unable to attend;
  • Host in-person meetings and events at various BLC member libraries across the four states over time;
  • Coordinate with other co-chairs to schedule concurrent meetings and events to facilitate shared travel arrangements;
  • Encourage attendees to make shared travel and carpooling arrangements; and,
  • Ensure availability of accessible parking options close to meeting locations.

BLC staff are glad to assist in planning, logistics, and registration for all in-person and virtual meetings and events. The BLC utilizes Zoom Meeting and Zoom Webinar for most of our virtual activities, and this service is available for all BLC Communities. Funding is also available to support reasonable costs associated with regular in-person meetings, such as catering expenses and meeting materials.

If you have additional suggestions and recommendations to ensure all BLC meetings and events are accessible to all BLC librarians and library staff, please e-mail Charlie Barlow or Mei Mendez.

BLC Innovation Fund

In October 2020, the BLC established the BLC Innovation Fund as a pilot initiative to support and enrich the activities of our Communities of Interest, Working Groups, and Committees during the 2020-21 academic year. Throughout the pilot, individual BLC Communities may apply for funding awards of up to $1,500.

For more information and to apply, please visit the BLC Innovation Fund webpage.

External Funding and BLC Reserve Fund Guidelines

BLC Communities are encouraged to propose collaborative projects that require external funding. BLC staff are glad to assist in the development of proposals to foundations and other funding bodies, as well as proposals to the BLC Reserve Funds.

Proposals to the BLC Reserve Funds may be submitted at any time of the year, and are considered at BLC Board of Directors meetings. The Board meets quarterly, typically in March, June, September, and December. Proposals must be received no later than the first day of the month prior to the Board meeting to be considered (i.e. proposals to be considered at the December meeting must be received by November 1st).

The Board of Directors will typically entertain proposals for up to $25,000 to encourage a larger number of smaller projects, but occasional exceptions can be made. Final reports are due to the Board of Directors no later than 90 days following the completion of the project, with quarterly progress reports for longer-term projects.

Proposals should be no more than two pages in length and include:

  1. A brief description of the project, including any background information;
  2. The amount of funding requested and a detailed budget, including whether any matching funds are available from individual institutions or external sources;
  3. Proposed activities and duration;
  4. Anticipated outcomes, including specific goals;
  5. A description of the project’s alignment with the BLC’s mission and strategic directions;
  6. A list of participating BLC member libraries, and information about the role of any non-BLC member libraries participation in the project.

The Board of Directors may approve the request as written, request modifications and revisions, or decline the request. Decisions are communicated by the Executive Director to those submitting the request.

Please contact Charlie Barlow or Mei Mendez for additional information and guidance in developing a proposal.